Author Topic: USB with CAT on Radio Unit side  (Read 448 times)

EA1HET

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USB with CAT on Radio Unit side
« on: 2018-02-03, 22:38:06 »
Hi there,

I'm new to this forum and this is my first post. My name is Jonathan, my call sign is EA1HET. I'm a happy user of the product. I have a pair of RR units working with a FT-857D, but due to the fact my shack is built I'm using them on a slightly different way than other colleagues. I've been digging for the info but I'm a bit lost. Therefore, I'm writing asking for your collaboration.

First, the question: Can I configure RR Radio Unit USB port to carry out CAT to a local computer placed in the shack?

Now, details: My shack is separated approximately 50m from my home. Between shack and home I have a fiber optic line carrying out data communications. At each extent, I have 1 RR unit (radio or control) and 1 KVM IP unit (tx or rx). At home I have a flat screen, mouse, keyboard, the RR Control Unit and the FT-857D frontal. In the shack, I have all the rest, including in "the rest" the only computer in regard to radio use.

Hope my explanation can illustrate, even briefly, the reason why I want to take the CAT signal from the RR Radio Unit to the computer. In case the above explanation is not enough I'm attaching a shack design schema. 

I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Best regards

Jonathan
EA1HET


« Last Edit: 2018-02-03, 22:46:28 by EA1HET »

dj0qn

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Re: USB with CAT on Radio Unit side
« Reply #1 on: 2018-02-03, 23:11:14 »
Hi Jonathan,

Welcome on board!

The basic answer is that CAT is an integral component of the RemoteRig system. All you need to do is to
connect the rig's CAT to the RRC's COM2 and configure COM2 in both RRC's. I have never done this for an
857, but this is how I think you need to go about it:

1) Make up and install a cable between the 857's CAT port and the standard DB9 connector used for COM2 on the radio RRC

2) Change the CAT rate on the 857 to the rate desired by your software (menu 19). I recommend keeping it as low as possible,
i.e. 4800 or 9600 baud to keep traffic over the internet to a minimum and faster is not necessary for CAT.

3) Change the COM2 serial settings of the radio-RRC to mode-4, using the baud rate set in the 857, then submit/apply changes.

4) Install the Microbit Setup Manager if you already haven't. This installs the correct drivers on your PC.

5) Change the COM2 serial settings of the control-RRC to mode-4, using the same baud rate set in the 857 and radio-RRC,
     then also set "use USB Com Port as COM2" to "Yes" and submit/apply changes.

6) Plug in a USB cable between your PC and control-RRC. Make sure you do NOT do his before step 4 above!

7) Find out the correct port in your Windows Device Manager to use by looking for the "Microbit RRC Virtual COM Port (COM2)"

8) Set your CAT control software to use the this COM port on your PC using the baud rate set in the 857 and both RRC's

73,
Mitch DJ0QN / K7DX


EA1HET

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Re: USB with CAT on Radio Unit side
« Reply #2 on: 2018-02-04, 00:12:04 »
Hi Mitch,

Currently the RRCs are working without CAT on a computer with the FT-857D.

a) The radio-RRC is cabled (and is working) on the FT-857D body.
b) The control-RRC is cabled to the FT-857D frontal and it's working.

I'm not sure if I understood fine, but, should I follow your steps, I'm sending the CAT signal over the RRC-to-RRC link for a computer on the control-RRC side, which is exactly the opposite to what I'm pursuing :)

Best regards,

Jonathan
EA1HET
« Last Edit: 2018-02-04, 00:24:05 by EA1HET »

dj0qn

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Re: USB with CAT on Radio Unit side
« Reply #3 on: 2018-02-04, 00:22:44 »
Hi Jonathan,

I understood your request to be how to use CAT. Since you are using RemoteRig, I assumed that you
meant this would be on the control side, otherwise there was not a logical reason for the question, at
least not from my standpoint.

To use CAT on the radio side, all you do is plug a cable in between the 857's CAT port and the PC. You need
to use a USB to serial cable converter if you want to use USB. The RemoteRig has nothing to do with this and
is not used.

73,
Mitch DJ0QN / K7DX

EA1HET

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Re: USB with CAT on Radio Unit side
« Reply #4 on: 2018-02-04, 00:26:24 »
That makes more sense now.

I thought, as you mentioned, that CAT is an essential part of the RRC solution. My question here is, If I do this, Control-RRC unit is yet able to communicate with radio-RRC, leveraging SIP communication, right?

Many thanks in advance.
Best regards,

Jonathan
EA1HET
« Last Edit: 2018-02-04, 00:28:00 by EA1HET »

dj0qn

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Re: USB with CAT on Radio Unit side
« Reply #5 on: 2018-02-04, 00:38:54 »
The CAT would be included as part of the stream that goes over the network with SIP audio, etc.
It does not affect anything else, which will continue to run as before. It will just add a tiny bit of
overhead roughly equal to the baud rate that you set.

If you install CAT per my first instructions, you can use it on the control side. If you want to use CAT
on both the control and radio side in parallel, just change the radio COM1 setting to mode-6 or mode-7
and use COM1 for CAT control (set "use USB Com Port as COM2" to "Yes" to use USB).

Again, I have never used the 857, so I am assuming these settings are roughly the same as for the
TS-480.

73,
Mitch DJ0QN / K7DX